Raleigh Rambles

John Dancy-Jones at large!

Bain Project Performance


The Bain Project installation weekends are over, but the reverberations of this grand, all-enveloping art event will echo for a very long time.  Not since David Ira Wood’s multimedia theatre event “X” (in Thompson Theatre in 1970 when “multimedia” had just been coined) has Raleigh been blessed with such a massive infusion of cool. And to think – Bread & Puppet comes next weekend!! Raleigh, Raleigh.

I’m still reeling from the sights, sounds and interactions of Bain.  Huge crowds included many like me who visited several times.  You couldn’t possibly see everything in one pass, and I kept running into wonderful reunions as well as Bain participants, who were amazingly present and available throughout the building.  One thing I didn’t catch til near the end were the sound performances in the main hall of tanks.  Below are links to two 30 second clips of the performance.

The Call for Performance

The Call for Performance

Bain artists performing_1_1

Climbing into the Tank

Shrieking Pipes Video


Banging Pipes Video


pushing the pipe_1_1

Though one of the best parts of the Bain installation was the seamless and credit-less array of work, Dana Raymond should be credited with leadership in the sound project above.  I will be posting more special features of the Bain Project as I gather my thoughts for a central review. Stay tuned for Marty’s yellow room, four-day views of the ball floor and the watershed map, Tim’s magic lab, my urban explorer interview about Bain, and much more!  It will all be referenced on my Bain Page.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | art, music, Raleigh downtown | , , | Leave a comment

Web 3.0 weavings


     I have always loved information archives of all types – starting with Sears catalogs as a young child, followed by our Reader’s Digest Condensed book set, then on to specially arranged privileges at the Olivia Raney Library in the basement of the Revenue Building downtown.  Now the universe is at our fingertips, and I find that a whole neural body of outward connections awaits, and I have begun willy-nilly to construct this digital doppelganger – myself fully online – with little knowledge or perspective about the shape of the world to come – or the silhouette I will cast, based on my skills and choices.  It won’t come naturally – I’m a bibliophilic boomer geezer, but I’m so fascinated by the gargantuan pile of possibilities being generated by our technology that I’m game, willing, and more or less already engaged.


     But the levels of engagement are many and changing at a rapid rate.  And my original quest for information has become entwined into an arena I still don’t fully grasp – social networking, which near as I can see, is pretty quickly turning into this whole partly global Thing – a Social Network that has unwritten rules and value systems different (and yet not) from the world of Reader’s Digest, or graduate school for that matter.  I really like blogging as a way to publish writing and develop projects, and I don’t mind making friends online – though I’m always wanting to meet them in person ASAP.  In many ways I am not a blogger, and certainly not a full-fledged member of the blogosphere.  Again, I know I am indeed part of the blogosphere – just the literary/magazine, non-revenue, slow-blogging corner of it.  I don’t twitter, fark, digg, instant message, facebook or mypage. For all I know, I never will.  So what shape will my elderly online self be, as I watch the world go Web 3.0?


     Web 2.0 denotes the movement of resources from your computer to the Internet.  We don’t download software for blogging – we use the software on distant servers.  Many people use these resources for everything from desktop publishing to large company operations.  Web 3.0 signals the movement of all this to the mobile devices which are proliferating and competing, and to future non-existing IT services in general.  The News and Observer tells me we will all be living and working on our phones in 2020.  The TV ads proclaim it every day – the mobile revolution.  This is a problem for me.  Hell, I will hardly use my cell phone and I’ve had it for years.  I hate the phone!  I guess I will have to fall in love with some future web/Kindle device – if it projects perfectly from my eyeglasses, there’s not much room for complaint, is there?


Getting back to the messages of these media, open access and web publishing are by far the wildest things to happen in intellectual culture for a long time.  Ideas can be connected and developed in truly new ways.  You can follow connections instantly and sometimes rather deeply.  It’s all certainly very stimulating.  Below are my picks for some local trends that rock this new world.



     Netweed, the host of my Paper Plant website, is operated by Clyde Smith, who has worked hard and longer on web enterprises than anyone I know.  He was my blogging mentor and helped me build Raleigh Nature.  Clyde mainly works online professionally at Prohiphop, and scans news reports, reviews and offers business analysis on anything and everything hip hop.  Recently, he launched a news release service for hip hop labels.  Netweed, his online headquarters, is a rich mix of cultural and social resources.  Clyde is able to use Netweed as a unifying platform for his professional hip hop work, his research writings, his dance work, and his social views.  If anyone can swim in the new web waters, it’s him.



     Ibiblio is proclaimed on my favorites website (featured below) as simply “the best website of which I know.”  Paul Jones has been an incredible guru for all this since Al Gore invented it, and he found a way to share with the world.  Ibiblio.org is simply the state’s digital library, with some truly fascinating twists, but the monthly theme and features constitute a marvelous magazine as well.



     Taintradio continues to offer a unique platform and format in the rapidly changing world of radio and music generally.  There are reasons for the website looking, as a local pundit put it to me at party, “like it was put together with tinker toys.”  Taintradio just ain’t having any friggin’ formats, and that goes for website software as well, gosh darn it!  Hey, we all love what Bob is doing, and it will evolve a bit, I’m sure.  This grand web experiment, with all volunteer world-class DJs, and one little donation jar for infrastructure, is enormously worthy of our support.



     The personal web project of which I am most proud is the current incarnation of FARCE.  FARCE has a been a correspondence art series, The Paper Plant bookstore’s newsletter, and now is a website reference for my own and others’ use.  I use it for research, teaching, and providing curious readers sets of websites related to my blogging, such as local artists, book arts, museums and nanotechnology.  I’d consider it an honor if you made my links page one of your favorites.


And have a great new year as we approach our new era!  Best, John


December 24, 2008 Posted by | music, reflection | , , , , , | 2 Comments

taintradio hits the netwaves

Out of Raleigh to the world, indeed.  Do yourself a favor and go to taintradio.org, download itunes if you don’t have it, listen to taintradio for a few hours, and prepare to be transformed.  This is radio as it should be, probably as it never has been.

Welcome to taintradio.org. We are an alliance of independent, unpaid volunteers dedicated to presenting music on the Internet 24/7. There is no format, there is no “target audience.” Each program host presents only what they want to present.

Bob Rogers and Dave Tilley have begun a revolution, and it is going great!  They have a workable infrastructure in place and wonderful, wonderful contributors (including themselves).  I promise you will be amazed – and have not one friggin’ idea as to what might be coming next.  Not to imply it’s a random jumble.  It’s just fascinating revelations, one after another, as to what is out there that you haven’t heard and are so glad to be hearing.

Bob is an old friend whose book, Non-Fiction Poems, I published in 1985.  He has been in and out of professional radio for many decades, though he has been processing word data since arriving in Raleigh over twenty years ago.  He once drove Buck Owen’s Cadillac around for a spell as part of a give-away promotion.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg of his radio industry stories.  Dave Tilley has the substantial tech chops to make this thing work, but also has a broad set of interests and has been running a stage at the (upcoming) Festival for the Eno for a while.  The two of them have been plotting this thing for years.  Bob’s predilection is the midnight to six audience – he volunteered weekend overnight shows at WSHA for years.  Dave has been hosting a roots music radio show for 18 years.  Now the two of then have undertaken what really does amount to a major new format for providing listener supported radio.  Please check it out.

June 29, 2008 Posted by | music | , , | Leave a comment

Elise Witt – local girl gone global


Elise Witt is a proud product of Knightdale, UNC-CH, and the Raleigh area.  She is in Atlanta now and always doing amazing things.  Her wonderful music is informed by classical training, world-wide folk traditions – and Elise’s unique, enthralling and amazing voice!  She writes, performs and produces wonderful music, and betters the world while she’s at it – working with Alternate Roots over many years as it has grown, traveling around the country giving workshops about enriching your life with music, and exemplifying with her own life and career the commitment to enlightened, positive existence.


 Where to start!  In the last year, she has visited China:

From December 9-18, 2007, I was invited as a guest to fly to China, to sing with the Chiang-Su State Chorus from Nanjing, and the Beijing Central Conservatory Chorus, along with the Jiangsu Province Symphony Orchestra, with guests from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, and Russia, under the direction of reknowned Chinese conductor Mu-Hai Tang (former assistant conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, under Maestro Karajan).

 She has sung in support of the natural environment.

She sang to help meld a world of differences.

 She has also presented and/or participated in her usual plethora of workshops focused on using singing and music for personal enrichment, attainment of harmony and peace, and for plain old fun.  Check out her website and buy her stuff!  Go Elise!


June 8, 2008 Posted by | art, music | , , , | Leave a comment